World Intellectual Property Organization

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
World Intellectual Property Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization

Organization type Sub-organization of the United Nations
Abbreviation WIPO, OMPI
management Francis Gurry since 2008 Australia
Founded June 14, 1967
Headquarters Geneva Switzerland
Upper organization United NationsU.N. United Nations
Former French logo

The World Intellectual Property Organization , English: World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO ); French: Organization mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle ( OMPI ), was founded on July 14, 1967 by the Stockholm Convention for the establishment of the World Intellectual Property Organization as the successor to the Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI; Bureaux Internationaux Réunis pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle , based in Bern ) with the aim of promoting rights to intangible goods worldwide. In 1974 WIPO became a sub-organization of the United Nations . The WIPO is the starting point of the cooperation agreement (PCT) of 1970, the WIPO copyright treaty of 1996 and the patent law treaty (English: Patent Law Treaty ) of 2000. The organization has its seat in Geneva , 34, chemin des Colombettes.


Headquarters in Geneva

The WIPO is on the one hand a diplomatic conference of the members, on the other hand an organization with an executive function, which u. a. manages the PCT applications. Disputes are settled through mediation and arbitration . WIPO also advises official interest groups on legislation in the field of intellectual property upon request. One of the main topics is making the TRIPs agreement more flexible . The TRIPs Agreement was negotiated outside of WIPO through the GATT free trade system . WIPO was institutionally snubbed and tried to regain its influence. In 2005, at the insistence of numerous members from the Third World, a development policy agenda was discussed amid fierce diplomatic opposition from the United States. The protection of traditional knowledge is also moving into the focus of the world organization, where the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore has been discussing protection outside of the previous intellectual property law since 2000 . Practically all western states speak out against any kind of protection of traditional cultures in the form of intellectual property rights, the resistance of the USA being decisive. They assume that traditional folk culture is and must be in the public domain . The negotiations on this part have so far yielded no results (as of mid-2017). In the legal literature, comparisons are made between the protection of traditional culture and moral rights , but a solution is not seen within the existing intellectual property law, but only, if at all, through a new type of sui generis law.

In 2007, WIPO passed the Development Agenda . In addition to the recommendations of the Doha Round , this is the second agreement that does not call for a steady expansion of intellectual property rights. The program includes 45 non-binding recommendations. On the one hand, they envisage a reform of WIPO itself, which should make development policy a central pillar of their policy. On the other hand, the recommendations are intended to ensure that the balance in the international negotiations on intellectual property between highly industrialized countries and developing countries is more balanced again.


WIPO is seen by some critics as one of the driving forces behind the tutelage of holders of intangible monopoly rights because it has lost the balance between rights holders and the public interest. The criticism often comes from an environment critical of globalization .

The industrialized countries on the other hand criticize the fact that WIPO gives developing countries equal voting rights. A forum change was therefore carried out with the TRIPS agreement on the GATT and the WTO . The subject is highly controversial there. The economist Jagdish Bhagwati sees the opening of the GATT to other issues as a historical mistake.

A conference on free software that was scheduled for 2003 was canceled due to the intervention of the US WIPO representatives, although it may be assumed that the American software industry was influenced. The influence of advocates of intellectual property rights on an organization originally founded as neutral thus became public.


For 2016, the organization had revenues of $ 347 million and expenses of $ 347 million. WIPO is financed by contributions from the member states and public and private donations.


191 countries belong to the organization (as of November 2017). In 2020, China topped the global rankings for the most filings per country for the first time. Before that, the US had topped the list without interruption since 1978.

Previous directors

No. Surname country Term of office
1 Georg Bodenhausen NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 1970-1973
2 Árpád Bogsch HungaryHungary Hungary / United States
United StatesUnited States 
3 Kamil Idris SudanSudan Sudan 1997-2008
4th Francis Gurry AustraliaAustralia Australia 2008–

Treaties administered by WIPO

In 2008, WIPO administered a total of 24 treaties. In contrast to other UN organizations, members are not obliged to accept all contracts.

See also


  • Ingo E. Niemann: Intellectual property in competing international law treaties. The relationship between WIPO and WTO / TRIPS. Springer, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-540-75348-6 .

Web links

Commons : World Intellectual Property Organization  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Law Gazette 1970 II 293
  2. WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore
  3. Franke l2014, pp 205
  4. Silke von Lewinski: Comments on Susy Frankel: '"Ka Mate Ka Mate" and the protection of traditional knowledge' - an international perspective. In: Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss, Jane C. Ginsburg (Ed.): Intellectual Property at the Edge . Cambridge University Press 2014, ISBN 978-1-107-03400-6 , pp. 215-224, 224
  5. James Boyle : A MANIFESTO ON WIPO AND THE FUTURE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY . In: Duke L. & Tech. Rev . August 2004 ( online [accessed February 2, 2010]).
  6. Heise report on software conference
  7. Expenditure by Agency | United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. Retrieved November 22, 2018 .
  9. China overtakes USA in patent applications. In: The time . April 7, 2020, accessed April 7, 2020 .